The Use Of Profiling To Combat Terrorism

1373 words - 5 pages

Profiling by Israel security forces is a very important factor when it comes to fighting terrorism. Profiling allows for certain types of people with similar characteristics to be grouped and identified to help understand why certain people commit different crimes. Because the profile of a terrorist has changed over time, Israel now uses a type of profiling that is predictive. Instead of looking at the crime after it has already been committed to profile the criminal, Israel uses predictive profiling to determine the suspicion and threat of everybody before any criminal activity is able to occur. Although the United States has learned many things from Israel regarding combating terrorism, the use of profiling, constant searches, and securely fencing off its borders are not concepts that many Americans would happily adopt. Privacy is extremely important to most Americans and the idea of “big brother” would not satisfy the majority.
The use of profiling as an investigative technique has been used for many years. Profiling is a prominent tool used in the field of criminal justice and criminology to better understand behavior, personality characteristics, and certain types of criminals. Using such characteristics as religion, race and sex have always been frowned upon but sometimes are needed to better categorize certain types of crimes and offenders. The three major goals of profiling are to provide a social and psychological assessment of the offender, to provide a psychological evaluation of belongings in possession by the offender, and to provide interviewing suggestions and strategies when captured. (Oconnor, 2011) By achieving each of these goals when profiling different offenders, links between certain characteristics of offenders and distinct crimes can be made. This is useful in creating profiles for criminals such as sex offenders and terrorists.
In the war on terror, personality profiles of terrorists have been used to help prevent successful terror attacks. Being able to pick out those who fit the profile of a terrorist allows for law enforcement personal to question that person and assess if they pose a threat prior to an attack. Dr. Oconnor (2011) describes the most frequently encountered terrorist as a male between the ages of 21 and 35, unmarried with some college education, and comes from an upper or middle class family. They are also thought to be highly politically or religiously motivated, willing to sacrifice their lives, and consider a suicide mission as becoming a martyr. Terrorists are aware that they are profiled and have changed their tactics to try to slip under the radar. This has led to a major increase in the use of female suicide bombers over recent years because woman typically did not fit the profile of a terrorist. Also, male terrorists are changing their appearance by shaving and dying their hair to fit a different profile such as a business man or a student traveler.
Israel has been on the frontline of...

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